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It wasn't supposed to snow! Seefeld in September

It wasn't supposed to snow! Seefeld in September

Sep 28th, 2019, 01:17 AM
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It wasn't supposed to snow! Seefeld in September

Two years ago my last holiday with my aged parents was a bit of a disaster. I honestly didn’t know if we were going to be able to do it again. Last year my parents’ health issues meant I went away on my own, but now everyone is fine we decided to try again. The original plan was to stay in Seefeld in the Austrian Tirol for a couple of weeks in June, but our preferred choice of hotel (the Seespitz) had no availability. We booked early July instead, and were all set when my mum suddenly said, “Oh!”

Followed by “Oh no!”Oops, she had managed to double book herself, and the alternative proposal (the Jane Austen Society annual conferences) was, it transpired, completely unacceptable.So back to the drawing board. We decided on the first half of September, but unfortunately no availability again. Our travel agent made various suggestions, but some were too child friendly for my mum, who envisaged screaming hordes. Eventually we selected the Bergresort. I may have avoided mentioning that it was dog friendly instead �� My dad and I love dogs, but my mum can find them overwhelming sometimes.


We flew from Heathrow on 31 August. We selected a British Airways flight for the afternoon flight times and more generous baggage allowance. Then – oh no! BA pilots decided to go on strike at some point. There would be only two weeks notice of the dates affected, so we spent most of the summer angsting over whether our flights would be affected. A sigh of relief was breathed on 17 August with no bad news, as at least we would get out there. Eventually they announced some dates in September – but not our dates.

The flight left very promptly. Almost too promptly, as my mum insisted she absolutely had to go to the loo before getting on (as she hates plane toilets), when boarding had already started. There was also a rather long queue. There were some very anxious moments as my dad went off to call her back and I hyperventilated at the gate, but we eventually joined the plane, the last to board.The flight itself and transfer to Seefeld were, thankfully, drama free. The approach to Innsbruck airport is remarkably dramatic as the plane follows the Inn valley between the mountains - I understand that pilots have to have special training to be allowed to land there.

It started to rain quite heavily just before we arrived at the Bergresort, so we rushed into the hotel to seek cover from the sheeting rain.

Last edited by Moderator1; Sep 28th, 2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 02:17 AM
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So some general notes now on the hotel. We liked it very much. The décor has a cosy Tyrolean feel. The food was excellent and there was quite a lot of choice – I particularly loved the ‘veal stew’ in white onion sauce (really more of a casserole). I have an intolerance to eggs, but our waiter got me sorbet whenever none of the dessert options worked for me. Our main waiter, Gabriel was lovely – remembering what we liked all the time. We really missed him on his days off. We discovered that all the waiters are Hungarian.

The rooms next: I had a single Alpspitz room. It was a good size with a small balcony, but paled in comparison to my parents Junior Suite Steinbock, which had a large seating area and enormous balcony. Their bathroom had both wide bath and separate shower (ideal as Father prefers baths and Mother showers, and I had a narrow bath with shower attachment. It was actually quite difficult to get out of. However, I had by far the better view, of mountains rather than their view of the car park. My bed was very uncomfortable the first night, after which I asked for a topper for the mattress. After that I slept well.

We had some reservations over general housekeeping and maintenance; the cleaners did a somewhat perfunctory job on a daily basis, my parents complained that their tissue box was not replenished and that there were some loose wires, and my balcony was stained.

There are two pools, one indoor and one outdoor, but both quite small. I preferred the outdoor pool on the days when weather permitted its use; it was heated and actually significantly warmer than the indoor pool, and it was really lovely to swim in. The outdoor pool had part of the lining at one edge coming off, but I don’t think this was a problem.

The hotel is dog friendly. Very dog friendly. This was a positive plus for my dad, who adores animals of all kinds (okay, for me too), and fortunately my mum was okay with the dogs, who were generally very well behaved. There appeared to be a rule that they should be on leads inside the hotel, and only an occasional barkfest. There was a separate dining room for those dog owners who wished to eat with their darlings, but not all availed themselves of this. Our neighbours at dinner the first week turned out to have two gorgeous chows who we met in the hall one day. Dogs have a choice of menu too, ranging from tinned food to, for those whose owners really adore them, fillet steak at 20 euros a go. There was also a separate sunbathing area for people with dogs, and although I didn’t see it, an agility course and daily playtime sessions. They really take catering for the canine guests seriously, and it would be a fab place to take your four legged friend.

The main drawback of the Bergresort is that it is quite a long way out of town. We were told 15 minutes, which seemed an understatement – it took us half an hour the first day! Later, however, I must reluctantly admit it was 15 minutes to the edge of the town centre – but definitely longer to get to the station or church. It was quite a pleasant walk, but a shame because it stopped us from strolling around town after dinner. We spent most evenings after dinner playing cards (the three of us) and chess (me and dad) in the dog friendly bar instead, occasionally making a little friend. It seemed odd that the village bus didn’t have a stop nearby - that would have been really helpful. However, in the direst of straits we found taxis were only 8 euros to/from the station. When we did walk, my animal-crazy dad enjoyed calling over one of the small number of (probably veal) calves in a farmer’s field next to the pavement, and letting them lick his hand. Luckily I was in possession of a large bottle of hand sanitiser.

Last edited by Moderator1; Sep 28th, 2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 02:26 AM
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BTW, forgot to tag as trip report or with countries (Austria, Germany, Italy). Can I do it retrospectively????
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Sep 28th, 2019, 02:29 AM
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Tried to add photos but it isn't working.

Last edited by nonconformist2; Sep 28th, 2019 at 02:32 AM.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 03:06 AM
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Sunday was a fairly relaxed day as we acclimatised. We explored the attractive village of Seefeld, including staggering up the Pfarrhugel (Parish Hill) behind the church. After a light lunch in one of the many cafes, we walked around the Wildsee, a small lake on the edge of the village. We discovered just why the Seespitz (original hotel choice), which is on the edge of the lake, had not been available – it was undergoing what looked like major building works, and very definitely closed for business. The lake is pretty, and on one side it is backed onto by a woodland nature reserve, home to a very confident colony of native red squirrels. While technically red, most of them are coloured so dark a red that to the naked eye they appear to be black. They are very cute, and completely unafraid of humans, and even of the dogs who came through. There is a place where you can buy nuts to feed them; we did not do so on this occasion. Later in the holiday my parents went back and tried, but although the squirrels approached, and sniffed my dad’s hand, they weren’t interested and spurned the offering. My dad thought perhaps it was the wrong sort of nut, I suggested maybe they were just overfed by all and sundry.

Last edited by Moderator1; Sep 28th, 2019 at 09:56 AM.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 03:14 AM
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Really enjoying this report.

You can ask the moderators to add the Trip Report tag.

Adding photos, which should be incredibly easy, is often problematic on this site. Best advice I can offer is to us the Image icon at the top of your screen instead of just going to Go Advanced and working from there. Still doesn't always work
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Sep 28th, 2019, 03:20 AM
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Thanks St Cirq - will have another go later.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 04:13 AM
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I have passed by this village on train and bus but never stopped there. Maybe in December, we will check it out. Kudos to you for doing this for your parents.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 05:27 AM
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Oh, I enjoy spending time with them, it’s not a sacrifice.

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Sep 28th, 2019, 06:00 AM
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Enjoying your report. We spent five nights in Seefeld this past December and were absolutely buried in snow.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 09:58 AM
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Tagged for a Trip Report and for the countries. Also removed the bold
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Sep 28th, 2019, 12:55 PM
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I’m enjoying your report. Seefeld is the first Alpine town or village I spent time in many decades ago, beginning a love of Austrian mountain villages. I have never been back to Seefeld, though; it’s a fun memory and your report makes me want to go back. It was early summer when I was there, and the weather was lovely, just a bit of rain.

My friend and I were quite enamored with the neighboring cows & calves, like your dad.
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Sep 28th, 2019, 02:28 PM
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Thank you, Moderator1.On Monday, which dawned grey and drizzly and not all that warm, my parents and I took the train together into Innsbruck, and then went our separate ways as they didn't fancy my proposal for the day. The Seefeld train station does not have a manned ticket office, but tickets can be bought at the tourist information office right there. I chose to get a Wochenticket fur ganz Tirol, a 45 euro pass covering the whole of the Tirol’s bus and train network, as I had a number of outings in mind, and got another one the next week. In the event, I didn’t make back my money, although I would have if I had concentrated the trips for which it was valid in a single week, but don’t regret getting it at all, as it gave me more flexibility; for instance, getting a standard return ticket within Austria we were required to commit to a two hour window for return. Austrian and German trains calling at Seefeld were all clean and on time.

My plan for the day was to go on to Stams to see the abbey there. At Innsbruck Hauptbahhof (main railway station) I unfortunately found I had just missed the connection, and needed to wait for an hour for the next one. In retrospect I should have changed at Innsbruck West. (Incidentally on paper I could have got a bus to Telfs and changed there, which was significantly more direct, but I decided against this as the bueses weren't all that frequent.) I used the spare time to grab a snack which I ate on the next train.

The abbey was visible from the station at Stams and easy to reach. Sadly I arrived at 12.30 exactly – the very time at which the ticket office closed for lunch. There is a nice restaurant there, but I had already eaten. So I walked around the outside for a bit, had a drink in the restaurant, and waited. By the time the office reopened, the next English language tour was not until 3, so as I had a two-part journey back home again and had already lost an hour at Innsbruck and another hour here, I decided to go on the German tour at 2. While waiting for it to start, I visited the attached museum, which was only moderately interesting – really, not a patch on the museum I visited at Mustair in Switzerland last year. There was a rather sweet cat on the stairs to the museum, presumably a local resident.

The church at Stams is genuinely stunning in its ornate decoration. One can only visit by guided tour, but my aural German was not remotely good enough to gain anything from it – I basically understood about five words in over an hour. Perhaps I should have waited that extra hour.

My original itinerary had included a couple of other trips via Innsbruck, but to be honest this experience rather put me off.
I then returned ‘home’ to Seefeld (via Innsbruck West this time). The last part of the train journey (Innsbruck-Seefeld) was enlivened by the ticket inspector finding a traveller without a ticket and without the means to pay. He sat down next to him, made a phone call, and stayed there until we reached Seefeld. There they were met by the police who took the hapless traveller away. I tried not to stare.I discovered that my parents had seen a bit of Innsbruck, including the Golden Roof – but apparently they spent most of their time in the Swarovski shop ��
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Sep 28th, 2019, 02:37 PM
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[QUOTE=nonconformist2;16992850]
Oh, I enjoy spending time with them, it’s not a sacrifice.

I loved taking my parent's out except for the lack of family bathrooms for my Dad in a wheelchair. I got good at knowing who had them when dining out or shopping. I'd give anything to have them here today. My Dad gave me the travel gene.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 03:03 AM
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On Tuesday we took the Flix Bus to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. In retrospect we should have gone by train, even though that is more expensive. The bus picked up at the Rosshutte cable car station, which was a bit further off the road than we had realised and a bit of a slog - naively we had thought it was just off the road. As a result we only just caught it, while coming home the bus was late and we were waiting for ages. Luckily, the weather was lovely today.

On arriving at G-P we walked to the pretty painted houses in Partenkirchen, which we were duly charmed by. We were slightly disappointed to find that virtually all the cafes in that area were closed, either for their weekly day off, or because the owners had gone on holiday. The one place we found (apart from a bakery at the end of the Ludwigstrasse which had no toilet so no use) was an Italian deli lacking charm.

After a drink there, my mum and I visited the Werdenfels museum in one of the old houses nearby. We really enjoyed this, as it had a lot on life in the area with some furnished rooms – really delightful, and quite a highlight of the whole holiday. In the basement there was an interesting display on the Alps, including the original 19th century cross formerly on the top of the great Zugspitze mountain. It has been replaced there by a replica; the original has several bullet holes courtesy of over enthusiastic American soldiers in 1945. Dad, meanwhile, not into museums, wandered off for a little walk and reported that he had found a small waterfall.
Desperate now for lunch, we asked the museum receptionist where there might be something open, and she suggested going back in the direction of the station, close to the Rathaus. There we found a very nice place – also Italian but much more customer friendly than the earlier one, and with some lovely baked goods. Revived, we spent the afternoon following a walk along the river. It was a geological trail with examples of local stones, with some very pretty views. Then back to the bus stop and a long wait for the bus.

A good day on the whole. We definitely liked the town.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 04:06 AM
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I have been to GAP often but never knew about that museum. I will check it out in December. There used to be a fav place to eat there but is now a Greek cafe. We love Mukkefuck in Garmisch. Best food and many salads.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 06:19 AM
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What a disappointment that so many cafes were closed! I'm very much looking forward to a meal at my favorite GP establishment when we pass through in December - Pizzeria Renzo. We met up with swandav one year at Mukkefuck, good food, memorable name.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 06:48 AM
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Nonconformist, I am in South Tirol right now with my mother, and your comment made me laugh “apparently they spent most of their time in the Swarovski shop”, our first night of our trip was Innsbruck and Mum was in a linen store pulling out dozens of tablecloths while I was itching to explore!
(BTW I used your Tirol TR a lot when planning this trip, so thanks)
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Sep 29th, 2019, 07:03 AM
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LOL, I think we have a lot in common. Hope you're loving South Tirol as much as I did.
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Sep 29th, 2019, 07:35 AM
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Wednesday was a really nice day, and looked like being the clearest skies for the rest of our time, so we decided to take the opportunity to go up to the Rosshutte, the cable car up the mountain close to the hotel. It also meant we could have a bit of a lie in, which my dad definitely enjoyed.

We were already forewarned for the walk to the base station, and not being pressed for time today, it was much less stressful than the previous day. Actually, having done it the day before turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

We decided just to take the funicular ride and not the add-on cable cars, as these did not actually take you much higher, and one of them looked quite scary, going across the valley. Going up the cab had no seats; coming down it had a few but we didn’t get them. At the top we wandered around and took some photos of the views, then had lunch in the cafe. The food was a bit mass-market but okay. The café had some vintage skiing and other winter sports equipment on display, and some atmospheric photographs of the original red hut (Roesshutte) on the site.

Returning to Seefeld, we walked into town past a small park filled with odd shaped humps - the result of some sort of quarrying maybe? We had a look inside the parish church in Seefeld, which was pretty, in a more restrained manner than Stams although it too had been an abbey church. (Its abbey, dissolved in the 18th century, is now a 5 star luxury hotel.) I was particularly interested to see that the church had some internal medieval wall paintings similar to those of medieval England, but which one does not often see in Europe. Curiously, it is dedicated to St Oswald, a 7th century king of Northumbria in England.

Then another snack at Nanni's, close to the church - a lovely cosy Tirolean café with attached bakery, which my parents had discovered on Monday after their return from Innsbruck. I discovered something new abut my dad, when he ordered freshly squeezed orange juice, and then poured in a significant helping of sugar to sweeten it. Apparently he always does this.

On the way back to the hotel, my mum organised a hair appointment at Haarschmidt, which was important to her. Unfortunately they did not open on Saturday, which would have been the ideal time, and we had a trip planned for Monday, so she booked it for Tuesday. They spoke perfect English. Back to the hotel to enjoy the outdoor pool on a lovely day.
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